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Completely False: J-K Police Dismisses Mehbooba's Daughter Iltija's Allegation Of Pressure To Withdraw Plea

Jammu and Kashmir Police dismisses allegations by Iltija Mufti of being pressured to withdraw her petition in the high court after being issued a country-specific passport for two years, calling her claims completely false. The police also detected 54 young boys wrongly given passport service during 2017-18, some of whom were trained in arms and ammunition and even died.

Iltija Mufti during press conference
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The Jammu and Kashmir Police has dismissed as "completely false" the allegations of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti's daughter Iltija that she was being "pressured to withdraw her petition" in the high court after she was issued a "country-specific passport" for two years. Without naming Iltija in its response to her allegations, police on Friday said security verifications preceding the issue of passports is a high-value public service and the alertness of the force has detected as many as 54 young boys who were wrongly given passport service during 2017-18. In a statement, the police said a quick internal audit was conducted following the allegation of pressure on the litigant and dismissed it as "completely false".

It is "unfortunate" that a public person has apparently projected her "personal grievance" as also to be the grievance of the public in general in Kashmir, the police said. A day after she was issued a "country-specific passport" for two years to allow her to study in the United Arab Emirates, Iltija asked on Friday, "Am I a terrorist or an anti-national?" The 35-year-old had moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in February after her application for a passport was not cleared following an adverse report by the J-K Police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Her passport had expired on January 2 and she had applied for a fresh one on June 8 last year.

She asserted that she would continue to fight her case in the court despite "pressure to withdraw her petition." In its statement, the police said, "On learning that accusations have been made that the CID of J&K Police has pressurised a litigant to refrain from litigating in the High Court in connection with her passport related grievances, a quick internal audit was carried out." "J&K Police can affirm that the claim of such pressure is completely false. Nevertheless, officers are being detailed to approach the aggrieved person and ascertain details – who pressurized, when, where and under what circumstances so that the quick internal inquiry if found inadequate can be expanded to take suitable disciplinary action against the delinquent," it said.

It said that her projection of her "personal grievance" as the grievance of the public in general in Kashmir was "very problematic." "J&K Police and its affiliates are public institutions and designed to serve public interest. Denigrating the community's own institutions for grievances that are personal on the basis of false accusations is self harm,” the police said. Giving a breakup of its passport verification works, the police said out of 77,686 passport verifications received in 2020, 77,644 (99.95 per cent) were cleared, while out of 75,714 passport verifications received in 2021, 75,176 (99.68 per,cent) were cleared. Similarly, in 2022, out of 1,34,315 passport verifications received, 1,28,939 (99.61 per cent) were cleared. It said the J&K Police is committed to speedy and hassle-free clearance for more than 99 per cent of the applicants who are "clean and green" and a professional filtering of those who should be prevented from availing the service -- some in their own interest and others in the interest of the public.

"Security verifications preceding the issue of passports is a high value public service. J&K Police has detected as many as 54 young boys who were wrongly given passport service during 2017-18,” the statement said. The police said all of them went to Pakistan, were taken to terrorist camps, trained in arms, ammunition and explosives, many of them pushed back into J&K through the Line of Control and 26 of them died while either crossing or during encounters in the hinterland. “Lives of 12 of these young boys could be saved by the CID after their return from Pakistan by bringing them under preventive custody so that terrorist-separatist syndicates do not succeed in pressuring them to join terror ranks.

"Eventually all of the 12 have been handed over to their families. Today they are alive and happily live amidst their mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers and friends. Unfortunately, 16 of them are still across and trapped in camps under control of hostile agencies,” the police said. The statement said it is heartbreaking to know that in some cases even parents had no idea that passport services have been extended to these boys of tender age. “Intelligence and investigation has confirmed that in each and every case the visa to Pakistan was arranged at the behest of one or the other leader of a constituent party of (separatist) Hurriyat Conference,” the police said, adding CID is committed to help the parents of vulnerable young persons in not falling prey to the death traps.

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